With up to 1 in 10 adult Uyghurs in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang in re-education camps, life in the region’s internment system drudges on—arduously. Your mother is sent hundreds of miles away for burying your dead father in the traditional Muslim custom instead of cremating him. Your brother is sent thousands of miles away to a residential school for stuttering when speaking Mandarin. Your brother-in-law has saved up several months’ salary to pay smugglers to take him and your sister out of the country—if caught he may never see your family again.
And while the true reality of life in Xinjiang’s internment camps has been brought to global attention with the November 2019 leak of the now imfamous Xinjiang Papers, a significant portion of the global arena still stands in support of China’s internment policies.
A troubling representation of national attitudes came to a front when Belarus’s representative delivered the July 12 letter on behalf of 54 nations supporting China’s internment policy. While some signing nations have reason to do so in light of their own grievous human rights violations, many of the signatories are Muslim-majority nations like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan—highlighting the lack of Muslim solidarity in the face of the CCP’s crusade against Uyghur culture and religion.
This map takes a look at national stances in the Asia-Pacific region toward China’s internment policy. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and North Korea are signatories to the July 12 letter—supporting the internment policy explicitly.
On the other end, Japan and Taiwan position themselves as the only countries in the region to issue formal condemnations.
In the middle, Thailand and Malaysia have both cooperated in deporting Uyghur refugees back to China—though to a lesser extent as of recent.
This map is a dismal and depressing sight. To fail to condemn a policy that enables and encourages forced sterilization, coerced abortion, torture, drugging, electrocution, and brainwashing in the name of cultural genocide is damning in its own right.
Header Image “Child’s play: Uyghur children in old town Kashgar, China” – Sherpas 428 (CC BY 2.0)